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Linda Beck: Leviticus

After my husband died in 1993, I made the decision to read the Bible through for a year. (Actually, I ended up reading it through for seven years.)

The first time through, I thought the book of Leviticus was very boring. As time went on, I learned some facts that I would like to share with those who are interested.

Leviticus means “related to the Levites” (the tribe of Levi.) The nickname for this book is “The Priest’s Manual.” The Levites were to be the priests. The priests were considered “holy” which means they were “set apart for God’s purpose.” It does not mean that they were perfect!

This book was written by Moses during the time that the Israelites were in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land. They were chosen to demonstrate who God is and what He is worth.

Chapters 1 through 16 deal with matters that were of special interest to the priests. Chapter 17 through 27 comprise what is called “the Holiness Code” since the main theme is that the Israelites must be holy because God is holy. (Leviticus 19:2) God instructed Moses to share the following and in my Women’s Study Bible, it is presented as follows: Chapter 1: the Burnt Offering, Chapter 2: the Grain Offering, Chapter 3: the Fellowship Offering, Chapter 4: the Sin Offering, and Chapters 5 through 7, the Guilt Offering.

You may be getting a little bored wondering why I am writing this. Well, while reading about “the Guilt Offering,” God reminded me of a quotation that is known in today’s world as follows: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” According to the Bible (Leviticus 5:17), “If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and must make amends.”

This is where the Lord got my attention. Then in Chapter 8 we are told about the ordination of Aaron as the first priest. Many times in the Bible the number 7 is mentioned and some of us question what it is about number 7 that is so important. The ceremony takes 7 days and the number 7 symbolically means “completion.”

In Chapter 11:7, we are told why Jewish people do not eat pork. (I have always loved pork and we were never told that eating pork was against God’s instruction.) It was considered “unclean” then, so I can only believe that is why eating pork was considered sinful.

In Chapter 13, there is a discussion about “mildew.” I found this topic interesting because of how mildew can be so dangerous in today’s world. We hear about how storm damage causes mildew which further destroys homes and businesses.

Chapter 16:8 and 21 discusses an issue about “scapegoats” that I found very interesting when I recalled a story I wrote about Elvis Presley being used in public as a scapegoat.

Chapter 18 is about “unlawful sexual relations” and this relates to what we were taught when I was growing up. Chapter 19 involves the discussion of various laws that I found to be most interesting as they relate to our laws today. Most of these laws also relate to the Ten Commandments which are in the Old Testament.

I suggest that if you have more interest about these subjects, you should open your Bible and pray that God will give you a better understanding of this Scripture. I hope I have shared the understanding with which God blessed me.

 

Linda Beck lives in Woodleaf.

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